Just in time for summer vacations, Yahoo Travel has introduced a re-design of their site, as well as some new personalization features and mapping tools. People are just starting to plan their vacations, and the new design and features should really help, especially the Flight Planner, but we’ll get into that below.
New features/ changes:
- Personalized recommendations – not sure where to go? These recommendations come from user activity, and search history, and they’re displayed prominently on the page.
- Yahoo Map Integration
The personalized recommendations are a great tool because there are multiple display options. You’ll notice a drop-down list with options like My Recommendations, Best Deals, Near Me, Beach, Family, Romantic, Art and Architecture, Hiking and Camping, and Nightlife. If you were trying to plan a hiking and camping trip and you wanted recommendations, this would give you ideas that you could look into. On Yahoo Travel, this section is labeled as “Today’s Picks for You.”
They’ve also done a great job integrating Yahoo Maps with the travel service. On the home page there’s a map of the World where you can select where you’d like to go. I selected Chicago, and from there it takes me to a page specifically for travel in Chicago. They include a map with recommended places to visit like hotels, restaurants, and attractions.
Another integration of maps are the detailed “re-maps” that layer maps on top of other maps. They take the typical map for an area, and then place another, more informative destination map on top so that you can plan your trip better (pictured below). It’s something that they’re testing out for now, and they say that new functionality with this feature will be coming soon. An example of a re-map is found when you search for Grand Canyon National Park. You’re in control of the layer opacity, and you can also view it in satellite mode.
Yahoo has always been good about integrating their services together, so you’ll notice that Flickr has been integrated into Yahoo Travel, as well as their “Answers” service where people ask questions and other people answer. The questions they show are related to the destination you’re viewing.
This feature will be especially useful if you’re planning a vacation with friends or other family members. It’s an optional plug-in which means you need to take the time to get it. You must be using the desktop client for Yahoo Messenger to use this plug-in, but once you have it, you’ll be able to review and book flights with your family and friends in real time using messenger. I can’t think of an easier way to arrange flights than to do it in real-time over messenger while everybody is able to view and review flights.
So, if you’re planning a vacation for the summer, go check-out Yahoo Travel. It may seem over-whelming at first because there’s so many tools at your finger-tips, but in the end it will help you plan your perfect vacation.